Madonna in the UK; Simon Russell Beale in Timon of Athens

With Mark Lawson.

Madonna's MDNA world tour arrived in the UK last night, including new live versions of three decades worth of hits, performed with dancers, flying drummers, tightrope walkers, cheerleaders and a Basque folk trio. Rosie Swash assesses whether Madonna still commands the stage.

Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Timon of Athens, in a new National Theatre production of Shakespeare's tale of conspicuous consumption, debt and corruption. Andrew Rawnsley reviews.

The World's Two Smallest Humans is the title of the new collection of poetry by Julia Copus. The poems cover a range of subjects from music to the classics, and the collection features a series of personal poems on the subject of IVF, a process Julia Copus underwent without success.

Iranian-born Mahan Esfahani gave the first ever harpsichord recital in the history of the BBC Proms last year. This Saturday he returns with The Academy of Ancient Music to perform his own orchestration of Bach's keyboard masterpiece, The Art of Fugue. He talks about collaboration, authenticity and adapting things on the spot.

Producer Claire Bartleet.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 18 Jul 2012 19:15

Featured in...

Front Row on BBC Two

Series 1

Join Giles Coren, Nikki Bedi and Amol Rajan on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm.

Man Booker Prize 2017

Bookers

A collection of short films about this year's shortlist.

BBC National Short Story Award

NSSA 2017 Shortlist writers composite image

The 2017 shortlist and their stories

Queer Icons

Queer Icons

Front Row: LGBTQ guests champion queer artworks which are special to them.

BBC Arts Digital

Arts logo red

The best of British culture live and on demand.

Books website

Books home

Get closer to books with in-depth articles, quizzes and our picks from radio & TV.